NHL Game Summary - Montreal at Tampa Bay
(Tuesday, December 30th)
Final Score: Montreal 2, Tampa Bay 1 (SO)
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Maxim Lapierre notched the deciding shootout goal, as the Montreal Canadiens clipped the Tampa Bay Lightning, 2-1, at St. Pete Times Forum.
After both clubs scored in the first round of the extra segment, Montreal netminder Carey Price denied Vaclav Prospal, who lit the lamp in regulation for the Lightning. Lapierre then fired a shot into the top right corner before Price turned aside Tampa Bay captain Vincent Lecavalier to seal the win.
Price made 21 saves and Guillaume Latendresse netted the tying goal 46 seconds into the third period for the Canadiens, who have won three in a row and are 5-0-1 over their last six games.
"I thought it was one of the greatest games I coached this year," said Canadiens bench boss Guy Carbonneau. "We saw some really good defensive plays. Goalies on both sides made some really good saves, especially in the overtime."
Smith had a strong game, stopping 29 shots for Tampa Bay, which saw its three- game winning streak come to a halt.
"He's been, I think, our best player all season," Lightning forward Jussi Jokinen said of Smith. "Again, tonight, he was great. (He) made one great save at the end of the overtime and obviously we would like to help him more, get him more goals and help his job, but it's tough to score goals."
Tampa took a 1-0 lead on the power play, as Prospal parked himself on top of the crease and tipped Ryan Malone's offering beyond the outstretched left leg of Price with 6:42 remaining in the first period.
Following a fruitless middle stanza, Latendresse evened the game in the early stages of the third period and both goaltenders shined during an entertaining overtime session, one that featured a combined nine shots.
Lapierre also picked up an assist...Malone has one goal and five assists during the last three games...Tampa Bay finished 1-for-5 on the power play, while Montreal was 0-for-6...Canadiens forward Alex Tanguay left the game in the first period with an undisclosed injury on a hit by Tampa Bay forward Evgeny Artyukhin and did not return. He is scheduled to have an MRI on Wednesday.
12/30 23:49:52 ET